Abba’s Anni-Frid Lyngstad: ‘Don’t be too sure’ Voyage is the end

In a rare interview, the singer known as Frida told Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2 that album and concert residency may not be the band’s final act

Abba singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad has suggested that the group may continue beyond what has been billed as their final album and performances.

The Swedish pop quartet released Voyage, their first album in 40 years, last week, and it is certain to be a UK No 1 on Friday – all week it has been outselling the rest of the Top 40 combined. Next year, the group will appear on screens as digital “Abbatars” alongside a live band in a newly constructed venue in east London, the Abba Arena, for concerts between May and December.

Benny Andersson has emphatically said there will be no further Abba activity. “This is it,” he said in October. “It’s got to be, you know. I didn’t actually say ‘this is it’ in 1982. I never said myself that Abba was never going to happen again. But I can tell you now: this is it.”

In September, singer Agnetha Fältskog said of filming the footage for the live shows, which has been blended with CGI by Industrial Light and Magic: “One felt that maybe it’s the last thing we do. Same thing with the album … We’re a bit older now, and have our minor ailments. But we struggle on. I don’t dare to say [if a further reunion will happen], because it’s a bit uncertain.”

But speaking to Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2 in a rare interview, Lyngstad – known as Frida – said: “I have learned to say never say never. We have probably said this must be the last thing we do – think of our ages, we are not young any longer. But you never know – don’t be too sure.”

Of the upcoming live show, she said: “It’s very exciting. I didn’t know what to believe in the beginning … it was hard to comprehend, I must admit. But now we see some of the results, I’m very excited about the whole thing.”

Lyngstad, who once lived in Henley-on-Thames, also praised the UK, saying it had “been very, very important for us. We have a strong bond with the UK, that maybe we don’t have with any other country in the world.”

But she was disparaging of the Eurovision song contest, which Abba won in 1974. “I’m not so interested [now],” she said. “Because it has changed so much over the years, and it’s not what it was at that time [in 1974]. Now it’s more like a show, it’s very technical. There are some good songs coming out of it, but I cannot say I’m a fan of Eurovision – maybe I shouldn’t say it!”

Speaking about the ecologically minded song Bumblebee, she hailed Greta Thunberg as “a little queen in Sweden, raising her voice for everything, and I’m very proud of her, this young person getting all these young people with her.”

She was also full of praise for Fältskog, describing singing with her again as “coming back home again, having fun with my little sister, that’s how it felt … She’s an absolutely wonderful storyteller, she has something magical in her storytelling, which I, unfortunately, [do] not have in the same way. Or maybe that is good, because that means that we kind of sing the lyrics and the songs in different ways.”

Discussing the success of the Voyage album, she said: “We didn’t expect anything, actually – you’re always a bit nervous when you release something new. But, if I compare it to how it was 40 years ago, it’s a bit of a difference. Because I would personally say I don’t take it that seriously as I would do earlier on, when I was younger – then it meant so much. We don’t have to prove anything [now] – we have done it for the fun of it.”


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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